The China Questions: Critical Insights into a Rising Power. Rudolph, Jennifer and Szonyi, Michael eds. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2018, 204.


The China Questions: Critical Insights into a Rising Power is basically a collection of 36 chapters written by various scholars affiliated with the Fairbank Center for the Chinese Studies at Harvard University. The main argument of the book is that “China matters, and therefore understanding China matters. In a certain obvious sense, China has always mattered and always will.”(p. 8). This book is a noteworthy revelation of expertise on China, commanded by a single institution and a strong challenge to other institutions to continue investing in their own study of China. The brief essays are divided into many sections, covering the Chinese politics, international relations, economics, environment all issues, society and history. Nonetheless, the essays struggle to achieve the unity of a specific purpose. Instead of fully embracing the interdisciplinary backgrounds of the collections, the authors bring their perspectives into direct conversation with each other. The essays read like the beginning of conversations that regrettably go unfinished.

In every chapter, the authors try to portray how China’s past shapes the present and present shapes the future. By doing so the editors, Jennifer Rudolph and Michael Szonyi have tried to reduce the trust deficit of America on China.

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